- Rajnish Rai, Inspector General of the CRPF, had written to headquarters
- He said training institute didn't have adequate infrastructure, trainers
- A CRPF officer said facility of 175 acres can't be developed overnight
Less than a month before the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 paramilitary soldiers were killed in the worst ever strike of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir in decades, a senior officer of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had warned of gaps in its anti-terror training, NDTV has learnt.
Rajnish Rai, the Inspector General of the CRPF heading a new counter-insurgency and anti-terror establishment of the force, wrote a letter to his headquarters, bluntly stating that his institute, located in Chitoor in Andhra Pradesh, could not meet its objectives.
According to Mr Rai, who has gone on voluntary leave from the CRPF, the curriculum of the institution has not been clearly defined, there were not enough trainers and the infrastructure required to maintain the facility was abysmally inadequate.
A letter, one in a series sent by the Inspector General said, "... the expenditure incurred over the past few years in CIAT (Counter Insurgency and Anti-Terror) School, Chittoor without implementing any worthwhile training programs indicates that public funds have not been gainfully utilized."
According to Mr Rai, "public expenditure without any deliverable outcomes implies a serious state of administrative inertia and a significant loss to the public exchequer as no productive cause is being served." He added that "...no training programs are being carried out at CIAT School, Chittoor since May 2017."
As a result of the condition of the facility, Mr Rai believed, the men and women under his command were being let down. "The personnel begin to feel that they are inhabiting the periphery of the organization, and once they imbibe such a sentiment, it is extremely difficult to recover their morale," he said.
Responding to the charges in a statement to NDTV, an officer in the CRPF said, "We have around in excess of 35 training schools. This institute was shifted from Ambikapur to Chittoor. There were 175 acres. A facility of 175 acres cannot be developed overnight. As a head of the training school, you are meant to utilise what has been given to you and start providing requisite training. You have to take forward your work."
The CRPF training facility in Chitoor was set up two years ago despite which infrastructure at the facility was still not fully developed. In September last year, Mr Rai wrote, ''currently, we are facing acute shortage of water and the requirement of water for approximately 100 officers/men posted at CIAT School, Chittoor is being met from only one functional bore well." Two months later he wrote, "Even if we receive some positive directions from the Training Directorate/Works Directorate regarding installation of submersible pumps/construction of a new bore well, it is unlikely that we will be able to complete this work in time.''
The CRPF is one of India's primary security agencies. Its mandate, redefined after the 1999 Kargil War, is to be the "main force for counter insurgency duties." According to a vision statement, the CRPF is "the main striking force of the country dealing with internal security duties, including anti-naxal operation and counter insurgency duties in J&K and North East, besides varied Law and order problems."
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